How Facebook Apps Can Beautifully Drive Engagement
The fabulous thing about social media is that you can cross-promote content across various channels. And there’s nowhere easier to perform this, than from a Facebook Business Page.
You can make social work soOo much harder for your brand by including pertinent apps that foster high interest and move fans to take action. Without engagement and momentum, your page is as good as invisible. No fan will stay for very long or take the time to comment.
Since the demise of a default ‘Welcome’ tab that steered fans to where you wanted them, brands have to be more creative in how to encourage users to become involved. It’s no longer as simple as pointing to a ‘Like’ button.
Essentially, apps let you achieve many things on your Facebook Page without writing your own code. You can view your Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest feeds, run contests, view calendar events, collect email leads and sell product via e-commerce links without leaving the site. You can also pull blog posts in and still maintain your share buttons…how cool is that!
How many apps?
You can install up to 11 apps, but only 4 are visible in the thumbnail images directly beneath your cover image…until you click on the down arrow to the right of the first row of apps, to reveal all. By default, the tabs on Facebook Pages come with Photos and a ‘Like’ Count. Photos will always appear first, but you can choose the order of the others. Make your first row the most enticing; many users won’t look any further.
Who’s doing it beautifully?
It’s getting better every day…beauty brands are waking up to how effective social can be…
Neal’s Yard Remedies is an proactive, beauty retailer with a conscience that uses apps to communicate campaigns, seek customer opinions and link to other social sites. Their cover images are changed frequently to feature latest activities and take advantage of the recent relaxation of Facebook rules that now allow a certain amount of text.
On the Cult Beauty Facebook Page, they use custom apps to increase newsletter sign-ups with ‘Join the Cult’, offer sale events and opportunities to win competitions. They just have to remember that the app should be replaced as soon as the competition closes…that tab is valuable.
ghd Professional takes the opportunity to show off their how-to videos for salon owners and stylists. There’s nothing like promotional visuals to create a good hair story.
Donna Karan is experimenting with achieving fragrance sales through a social quiz. The Scent Finder app guides users through a 7 question quiz to find a fragrance that matches their or another’s personality. Since fragrance marketing can be difficult without the sense of smell, this quiz allows you to get a feeling for the fragrance without going to a physical store.
And, Philip Kingsley display their gorgeous Pinterest boards, without you having to leave Facebook. You’ll find it difficult not to spend time ‘repinning’ though, as there’s a lot to learn and feast your eyes on from these leading Tricologists.
How to create custom images
If you’re a larger beauty company, you’ll have your own designers to create custom images for these tabs. If you’re smaller, then you might like to create your own free with Timeline Image Tool…remembering to make them 111 x 74 pixels in size.
There’s a beehive of tools out there to help you to create tabs…and a recent post by Ben Pickering details a selection of them. Some options are free, others charge a fee.
Some vendors provide templates with some degree of flexibility to customise the look and feel using HTML or CSS. Others have more of a drag-and-drop interface where you can add and edit widgets (e.g. a video player, a map) within the app.
I’m fond of Shortstack; amongst other aspects, it’s got an ‘Embed Anywhere’ option. You’ll be embedding your apps on Facebook or your website in no time. I’ve heard good things about Heyo (Lujure Media) too, which has an easy drag-and-drop operation. Amy Porterfield’s video shows you how to get started with it and won’t leave you too technically challenged!
Do experiment and see what works for your audience. Stay focused and lean in your use of apps; stick to a short list of goals and utilise apps to accomplish them.
Have certain apps worked really well for you? We’d love to hear from you.